When he's not oozing love as Detroit's favorite ascot-wearing white boy rapper, esQuire's always good for some stellar cock 'n' bull and an impromptu dance-off. All the more reason to hit the Northern Lights Lounge on Wednesdays: He's hosting their latest DJ night, Love Boat. Roving hands, sweaty dance floors and a whole lot of boogying are in order for this themed event another school night to-do that looks to be Detroit's newest rock scene fave. The DJ's talents will be complemented by the booze-slingin' proficiency of rock 'n' roll bartender Laura Rock (of the Black Lincolns). Wednesdays at the Northern Lights Lounge, 660 E. Baltimore St., Detroit; 313-873-1739. No cover.
Apples in Stereo
Since snappy band names like "the ___s" have fizzled as quietly as Drew Barrymore and Fabrizio Moretti's mad love, the new thing is nonsensical or absurdly long monikers (to wit: You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, I Love You But I Have Chosen Darkness, Be Your Own Pet, I'm Still Excited, etc.). Appropriately, Apples in Stereo does the pop indie music thing with precision. The group's latest, New Magnetic Wonder on Yep Rock!, is full of happy harmonies and Beatles-love. With Casper & the Cookies at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. Tickets are $12.
Dave Holland Octet/Big Band
After work with Miles Davis, Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers and others, Dave Holland has emerged in the last decade as a pre-eminent jazz bandleader and he's putting what he learned to use. The bassist makes music in which the kick of the rhythm section intertwines with the shout of the horns, and the writing, without being fussy, delivers a thrill a minute. He's been augmenting his all-star quintet (including saxophonist Chris Potter and trombonist Robin Eubanks) as a big band for years, and just won a Grammy for that band's OVERTIME (Dare2). Now he's introducing an in-between-size octet that likewise ought to be scintillating. At 8 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; call 734-764-2538; $18-$44.
Ghana's 50 Years of Independence
ISSUES & LEARNING
With the promise of liberation in the air, more than 300 African-Americans, Detroiters among them, decamped for newly independent Ghana in 1957 and succeeding years. W.E.B. DuBois and Maya Angelou were among the famous and to-be-famous; Malcolm X was among the prominent visitors. University of Michigan prof Kevin Gaines tells their story full of hope and disillusionment in his book African Americans in Ghana. He brings his insights to this commemoration under the auspices of Wayne State University's Department of Africana Studies. Brown University's Anani Dzidzienyo lectures on the idea of Ghana, and Professor Eboe Hutchful of Wayne moderates. At 6-8 p.m. in the Bernath Auditorium of the Adamany Undergraduate Library, at Wayne State University; call 313-577-2321 for information.
If pop music had a modern day Man Ray, Sparklehorse Mark Linkous specifically would have to be him. As a writer and multi-instrumentalist, Linkous speaks to the broad-minded by melding almost-impossible simplicity with complex textures and Sylvia Plath-worthy solemnity with honest-to-goodness rock. With Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter at St. Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-431-MELT; $15.
2007 World Vision 30-Hour Famine
ISSUES & LEARNING
Famine is a daily reality for millions of people worldwide. Now in its 16th year, the World Vision 30-Hour Famine raises awareness of this global problem by asking the more fortunate to actually experience the pangs of hunger: For 30 hours, participants will go without food (consuming liquids only). Meanwhile, on Saturday, Feb. 24, participants will join projects of community service organizations throughout the area. To donate to or volunteer for this cause, visit 30hourfamine.org.
Do Make Say Think
Over the last decade or so, Toronto's Do Make Say Think has steadily built up the love for its intricate, highly orchestrated post-rock, a sound that sweeps up jazz, psych, punk, folk and electronic elements, then lets it all settle like a pleasant evening breeze. The group isn't nearly as rackety as Constellation labelmates Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but DMST is just as interested in lengthy instrumental workouts. And yet, the sextet's evolving: You, You're a History in Rust, the band's latest, is the first of its records to include vocals, some from kindred spirits Akron/Family. At 8 p.m. at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; $12. (Visit www.metrotimes.com to read an interview with Do Make Say Think.)
Rent Party Benefit
After staying afloat in a dicey biz since 1996, Xhedos Café one of the last coffeehouse music venues around town is in the red. They've been behind on their rent for six months in a row, and we're told that the landlord has had it. To save what seems like an institution, scads of local musicians all of whom have played at Xhedos over the years have generously donated their talents for a weekend-long music festival to help bring the coffeehouse current on rent. The event kicks off with an appearance from Mirror Mirror, which boasts Tino Gross and Johnny Evans from Howling Diablos and Alex Trajano of Bluedog. More than 50 bands are to perform in all, including Larval, Ben Cyllus, Luis Resto of Was (Not Was) and Eminem fame, the Salt Miners, Matt Smith, Molly-Jean, Loretta and the Larkspurs, Jill Jack, Troy Gregory and Benny Stufi. At Xhedos Café, 240 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-399-3946; $10 donation.
This week is your last chance to enter the realm on an “on-growing” show by rising area artist and 555 Gallery co-founder Jacob Montelongo Martinez (a.k.a Monte). Playful Chaos is a world of sculpture and installation that captures the exhilaration of a haunted house (and provides evidence of the artist’s pack-rat habits). To be found in the gallery is a mummy-like figure wrapped in strands of burlap and caged by bent wood, a huge rocket ship, a bull glowing in a black light and a three-foot-tall skeleton. You’ll leave with a strange optimism for your next new day, also full of mystery. A closing party for Playful Chaos is 7 p.m.-midnight, Saturday, Feb. 24, with performances by Space Band, JimboBilly Jam Band and Third Grade Bird Cage, at Zeitgeist Gallery, 2661 Michigan Ave, Detroit; 313-965-9192.
Eve Doster is the listings editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]